How COVID-19 Vaccines work
Vaccines train a person’s immune system to quickly recognise and clear out germs (bacteria and viruses) that can cause serious illnesses. Vaccines strengthen your immune system by training it to recognise and fight against specific germs - a bit like exercise strengthens muscles.
Vaccines are a safe way of producing an immune response in the body without causing illness. Vaccines contain either killed or weakened versions of the germ that causes disease or only a small part of the germ (such as a protein). When you get a vaccine, your immune system recognises these germs or parts of germs as foreign. It responds by creating memory cells and antibodies to protect you against future infection.
The urgency of this crisis means that all available resources and efforts are being directed towards finding an effective vaccine. Some COVID-19 vaccines may be registered and used within 12 to 18 months of the virus being discovered.
Phase 1: Safety and approvals
Phase 2: Priority Rollout
COVID-19 Vaccine National Rollout Phases
*Click to read
Video 8: Australia's COVID-19 vaccine supply
Download the poster about how Australians can access accurate and reliable information on the COVID-19 vaccines and the rollout strategy.
Read more on the vaccine below.
Impact of COVID-19 on Australian Business | A joint ACCI-UniSA Survey
COVID-19 Business Conditions Survey Report - August
COVID-19 Business Conditions Survey Report - May
COVID-19 Business Conditions Survey Report - April
Show your support with the following collateral materials:
The Australian Government has also released a range of posters, social media tiles, illustrations and guidelines to promote a COVIDSafe environment. They can be found here. Click the below images to save.
nbn™ Education Relief Assistance Package
Nbn is helping to connect family households with children.
Although many schools have now returned to face-to-face teaching, nbn is continuing to help connect Australian families. Their Education Assistance Package will continue to 30 September 2020, even though the need for home-schooling has changed. Read more here.
nbn™ COVID-19 Behavioural Change Survey: 7 in 10 consciously supporting local businesses and set to do more online
A groundswell of support from consumers wanting to ‘buy local’ highlights an opportunity for Australian businesses to strengthen their online presence and offer new ways for people to access their products and services. Read more.
NBN launches three new residential wholesale higher speed tiers
With most Australians spending more time working, studying, shopping and entertaining themselves at home, there is an increasing demand for higher speed residential broadband services. NBN has met this demand by launching three new residential wholesale products at attractive price points: Home Fast, Home Superfast and Home Ultrafast, which have each been developed by NBN Co following detailed consultation with internet retailers and as a priority to help deliver high speed broadband to premises across Australia.
COVID-19 Small and Medium Business Package Update
NBN Australia are helping Australians respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing up to $50 million to assist phone and internet providers to support small and medium businesses
To help Australians respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, nbn is providing financial assistance to phone and internet providers to support small and medium businesses. Designed to support businesses in financial hardship, this funding will help phone and internet providers keep customers connected in these difficult times. Participating phone and internet providers will establish their own offers in relation to nbn’s financial hardship support offer. Download more info here
NBN announces $150 million COVID-19 relief and assistance package
To help internet providers to support customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, nbn is establishing a $150 million financial relief and assistance fund. The relief fund aims to help internet providers to (1) connect low-income households with home schooling needs (2) support emergency and essential services, and (3) assist small and medium-sized businesses and residential customers facing financial hardship. “We know that many Australian households and businesses are doing it tough, and that access to broadband services has never been more important,” shared Stephen Rue, Chief Executive Officer at nbn. “As a national wholesale provider of broadband services, nbn has an important role to play in supporting internet providers connecting families with remote schooling needs for their children and keeping Australian households, small and medium businesses, as well as essential and emergency services connected.” For more information on the COVID-19 relief and assistance package, visit here. To read about nbn’s responses to Coronavirus and what they’re doing to help you stay connected, visit here.
NBN Co has extended its offer to provide up to 40 per cent additional capacity to internet providers at no extra cost for another two months as it continues to support telecommunications retailers and help Australians stay connected through the COVID-19 pandemic.
NBN Co has also extended its offer to increase download data limits for its standard Sky Muster service to 90GB of data on average for another two months. This offer, which came into effect at the end of March, provides an additional 45GB for each standard Sky Muster service at no additional cost to internet providers.
The extended offers come as data demand on the nbn network continues to remain at higher levels than its pre-COVID-19 baseline as more Australians continue to self-isolate and shift their work, education and entertainment needs online.
NBN Co has also announced a new awareness campaign to communicate COVID-19 public information messaging, and release a report to show data demand on the nbn access network.
Small and medium businesses are encouraged to:
- Visit the business nbn™ readiness tool to prepare for migrating to the nbn™ access network
- Visit the business nbn™ solution finder to learn more about the wholesale business nbn™ options that nbn offers providers, such as priority data (for high speeds even when internet traffic is heavy), symmetrical speeds (so that businesses can upload as fast as they download), and enhanced service support (to help resolve issues faster)
- Consult their service provider to explore connectivity options for their business needs
New Fact Sheets on mental health and wellbeing services
Mental Health Resources for Small Business Owners
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the Australian economy, in particular on small and family businesses. With the many challenges presented by COVID-19, understandably, small business owners may be feeling stressed and anxious.
There are resources available to assist including:
The My Business Health web portal offers dedicated holistic support to you to manage your outgoings, to access financial support, to prepare, respond and recover as the economy reopens, and how to seek out emotional support.
Every mind’s Ahead for Business is another online resource specially designed to help you understand your mental health, manage business stress and provides tailored recommendations, information and programs.
Importantly, immediate assistance is available through each of these resources via a phone number, chat line, or referral to other services if in crisis.
Mental health Support
The Government is acutely aware of the need to provide support for the mental health and wellbeing of all Australians. The Government is funding and bolstering the capacity of mental health support providers including Lifeline and for Kids Helpline who have experienced an unprecedented surge in call volumes.
The Government’s digital mental health portal Head to Health will be a single source of authoritative information and guidance on how to maintain good mental health and how to access mental health services and care.
Beyond Blue free Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service.
Support options available via coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au are:
- Advice and information;
- Digital tools and apps to help people manage their own mental health and wellbeing;
- A phone number for a dedicated support line staffed by mental health professionals;
- Referrals to other services and information as needed, including financial supports;
- Easy links to Beyond Blue’s online peer support forums;
- Links to emergency and crisis supports.
Its dedicated phone line, staffed by mental health professionals briefed on the pandemic response, is now open on 1800 512 348.
Fear and anxiety are natural responses to threat and uncertainty. These strong emotions may result in difficulty sleeping. The information below can help you get a better night's sleep amid the stress of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Getting Sleep and Cornonavirus
- Sleep and Emergency Services
- Preventing Chronic Insomnia
- Good Sleep Habits
- Sleep to boost your immune system
- Sleeping tips when staying indoors during isolation period
WorkAlert Free Resources for workplaces
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered people’s regular habits and routines, impacting their regular sleeping patterns and increasing fatigue. The Sleep Health Foundation (SHF) has relaunched the WorkAlert® website, which provides free up-to-date advice and strategies for employers and employees, based on scientific evidence led by the Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity (Alertness CRC).
Investing in better sleep can enhance mental functioning, improve your mood, and keep the immune system running at top capacity which is top of mind for all of us as we exit flu season and learn to live with COVID-19.
For tips and advice on keeping yourselves and your workplaces safe, visit the WorkAlert® website.
Don’t Wait Mate campaign
The CONTINUITY OF CARE COLLABORATION (CCC) is advocating for people to continue with their health management during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim is to communicate consistently the importance of looking after your health, whether that is managing a chronic health condition, getting preventative screening tests or pathology tests, or seeking immediate treatment and care if you have urgent and/or new symptoms.
The objective for the #dontwaitmate campaign is to help people, patients and carers in Australia feel safe to continue to go and see their doctor, nurse, pharmacist, allied health professional and dentist, and to also not put of tests such as blood tests, cancer screening or x-rays and scans.
The continuity of care collaboration website is now live and can be viewed here.
NSW: New online toolkit to help navigate the challenges of COVID-19
Developed by the NSW Government’s business advisory service, Business Connect, the toolkit includes more than 35 webinars on a range of business-related subjects, fact sheets and training videos.
Grow with Google OnAir
Grow with Google OnAir is launching its second series of live webinars created specifically for small to medium businesses. Registrations are now open and the series will livestream from 25-28 August. Missed the last series? All past sessions are available to watch on demand, watch and register here → g.co/GrowOnAirAU
PwC Australia, Salesforce and Google have joined forces to create Project Spirit. With the support of the Chamber movement, Project Spirit's free, unique marketplace will help bring Australian businesses big and small, together to beat the challenges of COVID-19. Through the community, businesses can make connections and share skills and capacity as we evolve from the impacts and challenges of the current crisis. Find out more here.
Below is the recording of this week's video conference and the Project Spirit Relationship Partner Pack (to share with your networks), and follow this YouTube video link explaining Project Spirit.
Download the Partner Pack Here.
Watch the Video Conference Here. Access Password: ACCI2020#
Watch this short video on Project Spirit.
Visit the Project Spirit Website for more information or if you have any questions or would like more information or provide feedback on Project Spirit, you may contact Kaitlin Moore, Marketing Manager - Networks, PwC Australia firstname.lastname@example.org
Further Bank Support for Households and Small Businesses
The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has confirmed that banks will extend deferred repayments on loans for up to four months for customers continuing to experience financial difficulty and reduced income as a result of COVID-19. Banks will also look to restructure loans where possible as a way of helping their customers. The ABA estimates that there are over 800,000 loans that have been deferred worth over $260 billion.
The deferral extension will not be automatic and will be provided on a case-by-case basis by banks to customers. Many customers may need less than four months to either restructure their loan or get back into full repayments however banks are likely to offer options like;
Extending the length of the loan
Converting to interest-only payments for a period of time
A combination of these and other measures
To find out more about the ABA announcement, please click here.
International Chamber of Commerce resources
The ICC has a range of free downloads available to assist during the pandemic. Download here.
The Victorian Small Business Commission has produced a new small business guide: small business owner's guide to creating a mental health plan in response to coronavirus (COVID-19).
With many small business owners focused on trying to get their businesses through this difficult period and looking after their family and staff, they might not have prioritised their own mental health. Creating a mental health plan is one way to make sure they have practical strategies they can call on to look after themselves and their staff as they plan for business continuity and recovery.
Grow with Google Webinars
Grow with Google OnAir will be live streaming new content for small business owners, jobseekers and educators from 9th-18th June. Register today and learn how to reach customers online, adjust to remote work & more.
Government Hotline - 13 28 46 - Contact Centre
The Government’s business hotline will give more support to small and medium businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with specialist advisers and extended support hours.
Operation hours: seven days per week, answering calls from 7am to 11pm AEST.
Mastercard and Ethoca announced a new support package for all retailers in Australia to help tackle fraud and chargebacks. The offer will include free access to the market-leading fraud and chargeback dispute resolution service Ethoca Alerts until July 31, 2020.
Any retailer operating in Australia that processes card-not-present transactions either online, over the phone or via the mail, and receives more than 10 chargebacks per month on average would benefit from this product.
The Australian Tax Office
The ATO has extended its operating hours for enquiries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Small business owners are encouraged to use the Emergency Support Line on 1800 806 218 between 8am-10pm (AEST) Monday to Friday and 10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday.
Global Dashboard on COVID-19 Government Policies
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides the Global Dashboard on COVID-19 Policies to stay informed of the ever-changing regulatory landscape in response to this pandemic. The table below scrolls both down AND across. The tool is being updated regularly.
Coming Soon – Grow with Google Webinars
Grow with Google OnAir will stream from the 9th - 17th June with topical content for everyone from dedicated small business sessions, to sessions for jobseekers, educators and more. Individuals will have the opportunity to ask questions with live moderation taking place. The series of seven webinars will cover a variety of topics listed below:
- Tips for collaborating, meeting and working remotely
- Tips to stay connected with your nonprofit community
- Connecting with customers online with Google
- How to help your business stand out and show up online
- Essential skills for job hunting in 2020
- Teaching AI in the classroom
- Fundamental tools for journalists from Google News Initiative
Watch this space for Registration details
Google have centralised a number of tools to help businesses communicate operational changes with their customers and digitally upskill during this challenging time. The resource has been created as a downloadable PDF and can be accessed through this link goo.gle/GwGresources.
Google have created a partner guide, detailing how you can share this resource with your network if you wish to do so.
My Business Health
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) supports small businesses and family enterprises through two main functions: advocacy and assistance. Their dedicated website My Business Health is here.
Australian Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association
Google for small business
Resources to help your small business manage through uncertainty [Bushfires & COVID-19] website at https://g.co/smallbiz-covid19.